How are food allergies diagnosed?

Food allergies can be diagnosed by a number of different tests. A blood test can check to see if immune system cells are making antibodies against different foods. Another test, called a skin prick test, is when a tiny amount of different foods is placed on the surface of the skin, either on the back or arm. If the food makes the skin red and itchy, it means the person is probably allergic to it.

The third type of test, and the best way to see if someone has an allergy, is called an oral food challenge. Doctors have the person eat small amounts of a food to see if it causes any symptoms. An oral food challenge can only be done in a hospital or a special doctor’s office so that people can get treatment right away if they do have a severe allergic reaction.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.